Monday, 20 November 2017

My Little Boy CAN Be A Princess For A Day

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post on this blog to vent my frustration at what I felt was an injustice against my little boy.

My little boy who, during our last trip to Disneyland Paris, fell completely in love with the Disney Princesses particular...with Queen Elsa from the hit movie Frozen.

And who...just like his brother does with Captain Jack Sparrow...loved to dress up like her, and pretend to be her as he acted out his favourite song "Let It Go."

But when I tried to book him into a Princess experience on our next Disney trip, I was informed by a Disney staff member via email that this wasn't possible due to him being a boy.

And so just like I always do whenever anything upsets me or angers me, I blogged it all out on here.

What I didn't expect was for that post to go viral worldwide.

Within less than 24 hours, I had news agencies knocking on my door, magazines calling me by the minute wanting to print the story, emails inviting me onto morning television shows to discuss the a nutshell, it all went a little bit crazy.

And it wasn't long before I was subject to what felt like all of the worlds homophobes and bigots attacking me by email, private message and whatever means they could find. All of them keen to tell me what a terrible mother I was for letting my son wear a dress to emulate his favourite character.

It turns out that a child in a Princess dress can really anger a lot of the worlds weirdos. Who knew there were so many people in the world so eager to sexualise children!

But despite how depressing it was to find out just how many people are still stuck in the dark ages, I was thrilled that Disneyland themselves responded positively - apologising for the response of the staff member and stating that little boys are absolutely welcome to take part in their princess experience.

As an apology for our experience Disneyland asked if they could provide the Princess experience for Noah free of charge to show him that he could indeed be a princess (they also arranged another surprise for him afterwards) and so last week on our trip, Noah got his wish and became a Princess for the day.

The experience at the Boutique inside the Disneyland Hotel was honestly so special, Noah was absolutely in awe as he sat at the dressing table having his make up done and his hair plaited just like Elsa...they gave him a beautiful new Elsa dress to wear and with a sprinkle of glitter he was declared a Princess for the day.

The Photopass photographer did a fantastic job of getting him to pose for some photos afterwards, and even invited us all to join him for them too which was really lovely.

As Noah stood on the little stage having his photo taken, beaming proudly as he twirled in his new dress, it struck me just how sad it is that anybody could see fit to find anything wrong or harmful in something as innocent as a young child playing dress up and emulating their idol.

So many people were so quick to sexualise Noah's love of dressing up in Princess many people were so quick to label him a cross dresser or gay...and as much as it's absolutely fine by me if he turns out to be either of those things (because, you know, pardon me but my childs happiness is far more important to me than the opinion of the closed minded morons of this world), the truth is...right now, he's just a child having fun. He doesn't need to be labelled as anything.

His desire to wear a dress like Elsa does is no more proof of him being gay or trans than it proves that my youngest child is a dog for dressing in a Paw Patrol costume or my eldest a pirate for dressing as Jack Sparrow.

He's just a child.

He's playing, he's exploring, he's having fun.

So why is it so very difficult for some people to accept that it's ok for him to wear a dress if he wants to?

Nothing bad is going to happen.

 His penis isn't going to fall off. He isn't going to be suddenly thrown into some sort of existential crisis because he isn't wearing trousers.

He is exactly the same Noah when he wears a princess dress as he is when he wears a pirate costume or a pair of pyjamas.

When he came out of the Princess experience that day, he was the same little boy that he was before he went in.

Half an hour later he was playing rough and tumble with his brothers in the Disney park. That night he had the Captain Jack hat on as he had a sword fight with his older brother.

He didn't emerge from that room questioning who he was, or determined to only wear dresses from that day forward.

Nothing changed.

Well actually, that's not thing did change.

Following our experience, a lovely lady named Isabelle met us to show us to a special treat they had arranged for Noah as a show of their regret for the situation that we experienced...and afterwards, Isabelle thanked me for my blog post.

And for bringing attention to what had happened. She said that she was grateful that it had given them the opportunity to learn from what happened and ensure that their staff are well versed on their policy of inclusion for all.

I'm happy that Disneyland were so quick to act on this and to ensure that no other children are excluded from any activity based on their sex.

I just wish we lived in a world where people were free to be who they wanted to be without fear of judgement from others....but sadly my experience proved to me that we are far from that world. There are still so many people living in fear of those who are not the same as them, which is nothing but a tragedy.

Infact during our time at Disneyland I saw another young boy, a little older than Noah, running around every day in a different Disney princess outfit...and I noticed how one young girl next to me, no older than 18, screwed her face up in disgust as he walked past her.

And this is the problem. Because hate only breeds more hate. A young girl of 18 should be brought up to know that the world is not the same as it was 50 years ago, that people do not need to turn their noses up at those who choose to dress outside of the "norm" or live their lives in a way other than we do.

And those people who were so quick to judge my parenting skills for allowing my son to be a princess, guess what? I judge you too. I think its a disgrace that you are out there raising closed minded and ignorant people like that young girl...I would rather my child be the boy having fun in the dress than the girl screwing her face up in ignorant hatred any day.

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